Rest up…

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Vince Lombardi

How do you know when you need to get rest? What is your mental state when you are tired and burned out? Are you aware of the behaviors you exhibit when you are burning the candles at both ends? If you aren’t, then I am sure that those around you can answer that question in excruciating detail…

Do you have the courage to ask the question and face up to the challenge of changing that person you become when fatigued?

Prioritize rest and recovery. That is what you will have to do if you want to build a life of wins and successes. You simply can’t do it when playing from behind…

Prepare yourself in order to give…

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

Eleanor Brown

How often do you take the time to rest and recharge? I find that it is harder to do than ever before. The demands on our time, both to serve others and to serve ourselves, is constant. We all need rest, but knowing we need it, and actually doing it are very different things.

How is it that you define rest? What is it that gives you peace on your heart and in your soul that then translates to rest physically? The answer to these questions will be unique for each of us and they will likely be different at times depending on what is going on in your life and what kind of nourishment you need.

For me, rest can be as simple as dedicated time in the morning on Sunday’s with my journal and a cup of coffee (or two…) and just reading, writing and reflecting on what is truly important in life. Rest for me also means disconnecting from the electronic leash and getting out to experience God’s Kingdom. Recently my bride and I were in Colorado and we did a 12-mile backcountry hike into the Rocky Mountain National Park. That was a day of great rest for me personally though I am sure that for others the idea of doing something like that is anything but restful. You have to find your restful place.

North Fork Big Thompson River

To care for others, you must also care for yourself. You must define the rest you need, find the time for it, and make it happen. When you do, you will find that instead of seeing service to others as an energy drain, you will view it as a gift to give. It is a gift that we have an obligation and a calling to pursue. Take the time you need to optimize you abilities to give and serve…

Take a day…

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

Maya Angelou

How is it that you recharge?  What do you like to do that helps you relax and refresh so that you can step back into the fray with your full focus and effort?  

I will fully admit that I am not good at all at doing what Maya outlines above.  My mind is always working on something and it is typically about work in some way.  Frankly, my best thinking, the time when I can achieve the most clarity, is when I have changed environments and given myself the space to think through relaxation and rest.  Research has shown again and again that the brain functions at it’s peak ability when it is properly rested and refreshed.  

Find a way to give yourself a break and disconnect from the challenges you face for a day.  They just might not look as daunting when you come back…

Refresh and reboot…

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”

Ralph Marston

How do you know when you need to rest?  Do you know the signs?  Sometimes it is hard to recognize in ourselves, but the people  around us certainly know, and will tell us if we are willing to listen.  

Similarly, how do you know that you need to reboot your computer?  For me (as an Apple guy) I will go a week or two at a time and then perhaps things start to slow down.  It will take just a bit longer for the computer to respond when I click something.  Then perhaps I can’t change applications as quickly.  Whenever this happens I know I need to simply close my apps and click restart and within a minute or so I am back in business.

The principle is the same with people though I sometimes, okay all the time,  wish that my reboot process was as simple and fast as my computer.  But it isn’t because our operating system is a lot more complicated and the demands on our lives a lot more severe.  Taking the time do an appropriate system reset is what allows our minds and bodies to start fresh, and get back to work.    

Don’t shortchange your reboot cycle, you won’t be nearly as effective and impactful. If you want to make a difference and serve others you have to take of yourself as well. 

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